Follow: Where Do You Seek Affirmation?

3 Big T, little T

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

My Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—FOLLOW. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

FOLLOW

Affirmation comes easy on social media. We “like” a post. We “follow” a person on Twitter, or Instagram, or Facebook, or Pinterest. If we’re the one being followed, yay for us!

As one who’s prone toward being an affirmation-seeking-addict, it’s so easy to get caught up in the “follow-me” kudos social media offers. I admit it, when someone follows my blog, it makes me feel good inside. Like maybe I’m doing something right. I’m reaching someone that day.

How easy it is to find my value in the temporal.

We can chase after these temporary, impersonal kudos . . .  

. . . or we can pursue Jesus.

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I need to look to what’s most important in Jesus’ eyes for me. Is writing a part of that? I believe so. Is seeking as many followers as possible a part of it? Not if it’s to gain affirmation from each follow.

One of my all time favorite worship songs reminds me where my heart should be leaning. Toward following hard after Jesus . . . wherever He leads. It’s not always going to be easy. In fact, it’s rarely easy, or simple. Following Him means sacrifice. Giving up what I want, what makes me feel good to embrace what He wants. What brings eternal value.

When I stop trying to satisfy my desire for affirmation from people and look to Him for value? Then I am living just the way He wants.

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When I follow hard after Jesus, my heart’s focused on Him, rather than what this world offers—the temporary feel-good click of a “Follow.” If people do follow me, may it because they see Jesus in me, in the words I type on a page. Not because of me in my limited self.

May we all follow Jesus’ lead, running hard after Him.

What about you? How is Jesus leading you today? What steps have you taken to follow Him as He leads you?

Visit Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday post—Follow

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31 thoughts on “Follow: Where Do You Seek Affirmation?

  1. Hi, Jeanne! Hopped on here from the FMF linky.

    I find it hard sometimes not to be affected by what people say and this would always make me seek and pursue their approval. I forget that there is only one whose affirmation and approval I must seek and that is Jesus. Thank you for the reminder brought about by your post! Have a happy weekend! 🙂

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    • Lynai, thanks so much for stopping by! You’re right. I too often forget that all of what I do should be for an Audience of One. His approval is the only approval that really matters. I’m still working to live for Him alone too. 🙂

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  2. Ah, such a sweet and beautiful challenge. The temporal vs. the eternal? Yep, I know which I want to choose!!! Great post- thanks for reminding me to fix my eyes on Jesus!

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  3. Beautiful post, Jeanne. I try to begin each day with Jesus. I need to remember to follow his lead minute by minute and day by day. I long to hear, “Well done…” at the end of my journey. And the only way to hear those beautiful words will be for me to continue to follow His lead.

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    • You’re so right, Jackie. It’s up to us to follow Jesus’ lead, not the other way around. 🙂 Some days, I don’t live that out very well. But, I’m working on it. Yes, hearing, “Well done . . . ” is what I want too. 🙂

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    • This seems to be a lesson I have to learn over and over again. 🙂 Yes, that song is one of my absolute favorites. It reminds me what’s most important. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  4. Jesus is teaching me to keep at it and keep pushing forward even when my insecurities when hold me back! Thanks for these encouraging words! Happy Friday to you! (stopping by from FMF)

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    • Rachel, sometimes my insecurities try to hold me back too. I’m learning to walk forward in spite of them. Some days it’s hard not to listen to the lies and just follow Jesus where He leads. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  5. I get caught in that affirmation addiction too, Jeanne. Sometimes it can haunt me and other times I think God can give me that little nudge to let me know that He brought someone to the words…that they still matter. But you are so right, we certainly can’t hang our hats there, can we. Ultimately, we follow Him, we pursue the pleasure of our Audience of One. And I know he “likes” and “follows” us like no one ever can!

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    • I agree with you, Tiffany. I believe God does prompt others to encourage us. I’ll take it! 🙂 But, like you said, I can’t stop there, and stay awhile. I need to keep pressing into Him, pursuing Him. Thanks for adding to this conversation!

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  6. We all seek some kind of affirmation, it can actually help us know if what we do is worth the trouble. Affirmation is in a sense like encouragement, especially is the case of a novice writer. But like in all things affirmation can become an addiction and cause us to lose track of our original target or mission. I would have never imagined that God would have me doing what I do these days. but if I bask in the glory of kudos, I’m sure He won’t have me doing it in the future.

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    • You are spot on, Gene. Affirmation is encouraging, as long as I don’t let my identity be determined by how others receive/reject my efforts. I love your focus–making sure we don’t lose track of our original target or mission. And, so true: If we bask in the glory of kudos, He most likely won’t have us doing it in the future. Much wisdom in your words. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I always appreciate them!

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  7. Your words are so true: “When I stop trying to satisfy my desire for affirmation from people and look to Him for value? Then I am living just the way He wants.”

    Words of affirmation are like a drug to a writer. (I should know …) May we learn to be content just being by His side …

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  8. I concur that it’s easy to get excited about that feeling of being followed or liked. I have lived that way for many years. Instead, we should seek Jesus versus the approval of the world. Thank you for sharing!

    Oh, and I just read through a really great book about this topic called Scary Close by Donald Miller. If you get a chance, check it out. Blessings, Carrie

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    • How funny! I recently won Scary Close. I just haven’t had time to read it yet. I guess it’s moving up my TBR pile. 🙂

      And, here’s to seeking Jesus and His “Well done” rather than the world’s temporary approval. Thanks so much for stopping by here today, Carrie! And for the book suggestion.

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  9. Yep. I get a little too giddy about follows, too. Thank you for the reminder that I’m not the leader and I don’t need following–I need to just keep my eyes on Jesus and follow HIS lead!

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    • Yes, keeping our eyes on Jesus? The best thing we can do. I’m sorry you struggle with that like of follows, Anita. May we both grow in following Jesus’ lead only.. 🙂 Have a great weekend!

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  10. Bless you for another beautiful blog Jeannie! Kudos to you! And I think Jesus would say the same, for your heart is with Him. Following Him also means sharing Him with the world. He knows our need for encouragement, and will provide the kudos. I think a 5 minute word should be “kudos” LOL

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    • Yes, you’re right, Mom. Following does mean sharing Jesus with the world. 🙂 And He knows the perfect ways to encourage us when we need it. Thank goodness He knows us so well. 🙂

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  11. Wonderful post, Jeanne……readers know when a post isn’t authentic, just like children see through ‘fake’…..the only way to genuine authenticity is writing from the heart, without consideration of what ‘other people’ think…..have a great weekend, Helen xx

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  12. Today…well, through the hell of remembered heartbreak, in a violent time that crucified a gentle people.

    These memories admit no forgiveness, and they negate faith, leaving only the raw and bloody hope that somewhere, somehow, time is rewound and the hurts not merely transcended, but utterly erased.

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    • Andrew, remembering some things opens up the heart wounds all over again. I have no words. Only prayers that God will continue to meet you as you walk this road. He IS with you. I know you know. But sometimes, we need the reminder. Praying for you tonight my friend.

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  13. I’m a few days behind in my commenting, but this was perfectly timed. My pastor preached on this very concept today in a series he’s doing on stewardship. Am I writing and serving others out of the overflow of my love for Him, regardless of whether or not my efforts are ever recognized or rewarded, or am I looking for affirmation and a sense of identity?

    I confess: I often sink myself into the blogging/writing world in the hope that someone will tell me I’m doing something right. God is ever-so-faithful to knock me off of my high horse every time I do that. He just doesn’t tolerate me going into this thing for myself. I’ll use my talents for Him or not at all, He seems to say.

    And in the end…that’s what really matters anyway.

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    • Marie, I’m thankful God gives grace, but that He also holds us to His standards—His best for us. And His best in terms of us using the gifts He’s given us? To be done for His glory, not ours. Thanks for adding your thoughts to this conversation!

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